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02 2020



Pope Francis Holy Mass Basilica of Santa Sabina 26.02.20 Ash Wednesday 

Ash Wednesday

We begin the Lenten Season by receiving ashes, it reminds us that we are dust and to dust we shall return. We are weak, frail and mortal. We are dust, earth, clay, but if we allow ourselves to be shaped by the hands of God, we become something wondrous. We were put in this world to go from ashes to life. 
The ashes we receive on our foreheads should affect the thoughts passing through our minds. “What am I living for?” If it is for the fleeting realities of this world, I am going back to ashes and dust, rejecting what God has done in my life. 
If I live only to earn money, to have a good time, to gain a bit of prestige or a promotion in my work, I am living for dust. If I am unhappy with life because I think I do not get enough respect or receive what I think is my due, then I am simply staring at dust.  Our love for God and neighbour is our passport to heaven. Our earthly possessions will prove useless, dust that scatters, but the love we share – in our families, at work, in the Church and in the world – will save us, for it will endure forever. 
Hypocrisy is the filth that Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel that we have to remove. how often do we do things only to be recognized, to look good, to satisfy our ego! How often do we profess to be Christians, yet in our hearts readily yield to passions that enslave us! How often do we preach one thing and practice another! All this is dust that besmirches, ashes that extinguish the fire of love. 
We need to be cleansed of all the dust that has sullied our hearts. How?  “Be reconciled to God!”  Holiness is not achieved by our efforts, for it is grace! By ourselves, we cannot remove the dust that sullies our hearts. The embrace of the Father in confession renews us from inside and purifies our heart. May we allow ourselves to be reconciled, in order to live as beloved children, as forgiven and healed sinners.




Pope Francis  General Audience 19.02.20 Catechesis 

 Lent: entering the desert 

Lent

Today, Ash Wednesday, we begin the Lenten journey. I would like to speak to you today about the spiritual significance of the desert. What the desert means spiritually to all of us, even us who live in the city. 

The desert is the place of detachment from the din that surrounds us. It is the absence of words to make room for another Word, the Word of God, which as a light breeze caresses our heart. In the desert we find intimacy with God. Jesus loved to retreat every day to deserted places to pray. He taught us how to look for the Father, who speaks to us in silence. 

Lent is a good time to make space for the Word of God. It's the time to turn off the television and open the Bible. It's a time to disconnect from your phones and connect to the Gospel. 

We struggle to distinguish the voice of the Lord who speaks to us, the voice of conscience, the voice of good. Jesus, calling us into the desert, invites us to listen to what matters, to the important, to the essential. To the devil who tempted Him He replied, "It is not only by bread alone that man lives, but by every word that comes out of God's mouth" (Matthew 4:4). Like bread, more than bread we need the Word of God, we need to speak with God: we need to pray. Here is the desert, a place of life, not of death, because dialogue in silence with the Lord gives us life. 

The desert is the place of the essential. Let's look at our lives: how many useless things surround us! We chase a thousand things that seem necessary and are not really. How good would it be for us to get rid of so many superfluous realities, to rediscover what matters, to find the faces of those around us! Jesus also sets an example on this, fasting. Fasting is to know how to give up the vain things, the superfluous, to go to the essentials. Fasting is not just about losing weight, fasting is going to the essentials, it is seeking the beauty of a simpler life. 

The desert is the place of solitude. Even today, near us, there are many deserts. They are lonely and abandoned people. How many poor and elderly people stand by us and live in silence, without any noise, marginalized and discarded! Talking about them doesn't create an audience, ratings. But the desert leads us to them, to all those who are silenced, silently ask for our help. So many silent glances asking for our help. The journey through the Lent desert is a journey of charity to those who are weakest.

Prayer, fasting, works of mercy: this is the path in the Lenten desert. 

Let us enter the desert with Jesus, and we will come out of it savouring Easter, the power of God's love that renews life. The same will happen to us that happens in the deserts that bloom in spring, making buds suddenly, "out of nothing", buds and plants. Take courage, let us enter this desert of Lent, follow Jesus into the desert: with him our deserts will flourish.







Pope Francis Holy Mass Bali - Love your Enemies  23.02.20 

Retaliation

If someone thinks badly of me, if someone hurts me, why can I not repay him with the same currency? “No”, says Jesus. Nonviolence. No act of violence. 
Our Father, continues to love everyone, even when his love is not reciprocated. If we want to be disciples of Christ, if we want to call ourselves Christians, this is the only way; there is no other. Having been loved by God, we are called to love in return; having been forgiven, we are called to forgive; having been touched by love, we are called to love without waiting for others to love first; having been saved graciously, we are called to seek no benefit from the good we do. 
Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.  
He asks of us the extremism of charity. This is the only legitimate kind of Christian extremism: the extremism of love. 
Love your enemies. We do well today, at Mass and afterwards, to repeat these words to ourselves and apply them to those who treat us badly, who annoy us, whom we find hard to accept, who trouble our serenity. 
For those who love God have no enemies in their hearts.  
The worship of God is contrary to the culture of hatred. And the culture of hatred is fought by combatting the cult of complaint. How many times do we complain about the things that we lack, about the things that go wrong! Jesus knows about all the things that don’t work. He knows that there is always going to be someone who dislikes us. Or someone who makes our life miserable. All he asks us to do is pray and love. 
Evil can only be conquered by goodness. Ask God for the strength to love.




Pope Francis  General Audience 19.02.20 Beatitudes - Blessed are the meek  

Meekness

In today's catechesis, we face the third of the eight Beatitudes of Matthew's Gospel: "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth"(Mt 5:5). 

The term "meek" used here means literally sweet, meek, gentle, free of violence. Meekness manifests itself in moments of conflict, you can see from how one reacts to a hostile situation. Anyone may seem meek when everything is quiet, but how does one react "under pressure" if he is attacked, offended, assaulted.

In Scripture the word "meek" also indicates the one who has no land ownership; and so it strikes us that the third Beatitude says precisely that the meek will inherit the earth. 

The meek is not an accommodating person but is the disciple of Christ who has learned to defend much more than land. He defends his peace, he defends his relationship with God, he defends his gifts, the gifts of God, keeping mercy, fraternity, trust, hope. Because meek people are merciful, fraternal, confident, and hopeful people. 

The "land" to be conquered with meekness is the salvation of the brother of whom Matthew's Gospel speaks: "If he listens to you, you will have won over brother"(Mt 18:15). There is no land more beautiful  than the heart of others, there is no more beautiful territory to gain than the peace found with a brother. And that is the land to be inherited with meekness! 



Pope Francis  General Audience 12.02.20 Beatitudes - Those who Weep

Tears


Blessed are those who weep, because they will be comforted (Matthew 5:4). 
This weeping, in the scriptures, can have two aspects: the first is for someone's death or suffering. 
Mourning is a bitter road, but it can be useful to open our eyes to the life and sacred and irreplaceable value of each person, and at that moment one realizes how short the time is.
The other aspect is tears for sin – for one's own sin – when the heart bleeds in the pain of having offended God and our neighbour. 
One of the first monks, Efrem the Syrian says that a face washed by tears is unspeakably beautiful. The beauty of repentance, the beauty of crying, the beauty of contrition! God always forgives: let us not forget this. God always forgives, even the ugliest sins, always. The problem is within us, that we get tired of asking for forgiveness. God "does not treat us according to our sins and does not repay us according to our faults"(Psalm 103:10).




Pope Francis Angelus 09.02.20 

Light


Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus says to his disciples: "You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world."
Salt. The disciple is therefore called to keep society away from  the dangers, and the corrosive elements that pollute people's lives. It is a question of resisting sin and moral degradation, and bearing witness to the values of honesty and fraternity, without giving in to the worldly enticements of careerism, power and wealth.  
Light. Jesus is the light that has dispelled the darkness, but it still remains in the world and in individual people. It is the task of the Christian to dispel it further by making Christ's light shine among others and by proclaiming His Gospel. This outpouring of light can come from our words, but it must come mainly from our 'good deeds'.  
Jesus invites us not to be afraid to live in the world, even if there are sometimes conditions of conflict and sin in it. In the face of violence, injustice and oppression, Christians cannot shut up within themselves in or hide in the security of their own enclosure; even the Church cannot shut up within herself, she cannot abandon her mission of evangelization and service.